Spam texts have become a part of daily life we all get them, from claiming compensation for PPI insurance that we never took to being approved for a loan that you never even applied for. These spam texts have become a nuisance for many believing we have received a genuine text only to open the message and it is some sort of marketing text, but do not fear here is our guide to spot and stop spam texts the best way possible.
How To Identify Spam Text Messages
Identifying spam texts can be difficult as some marketing or advertising messages you may have genuinely signed up for and you are happy to get those messages. It is very important to be cautious that these companies that you signed up to do not share your number with other companies because this may have been in the terms and conditions and you may have accepted them without realising.
Advertising text messages can be irritating, but are easier to stop and control. What you should do first is try to find out if the text is from a genuine company that you recognise or if it’s a spam message from a company you have never heard of or never signed up to.
Before contemplating replying to the text sent by the company or person, you should check to see if you can find details about the company that sent you the text message, a simple search online or thinking back to whether you signed up will help.
? If you receive a text with the company or person’s details showing, then this could likely be an advertising text
? If the text has come from an unknown or withheld number and no way of checking the company details, then it is most likely spam
Also, you can try the following –
If there is a number on the text type it into a search engine and investigate the results
Try checking the number on various phone number checkers such as PhonepayPlus, which may show you details of the number or people who have complained about that particular number
If you do locate a number then we strongly recommend you contact the customer service or head office of that company to get further details on the text message sent to you
How To Stop Spam Messages
Use your phone settings to block the phone number
If you use a smartphone which more people are doing so there should be a feature in your call and text settings to block messages from specific numbers from a person or company. You can check your phone manual or contact your network provider who can help you find and set up this number blocking feature on your phone. By adding a number to your blocked list this prevents you receiving a message from that number again as you have chosen to add it on your block list.
Contact your mobile phone network provider
Mobile phone networks are part of the fight to stop spam text messages as they get customers contacting and complaining that they keep receiving spam text messages and want it to stop.
If you make a complaint to your phone network keep hold of the text message you have received to give the network more details about the text so they can identify this as spam and they will block the number. Major networks now have a dedicated facility to report spam via a particular number, if you are with a particular network here are the details –
If you are with EE, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone or O2, send the spam number to 7726
If you are with the Three network then text the number to 37726
If you text your networks the spam numbers they will investigate these matters seriously to prevent you and others getting these messages again as they know this causes irritation amongst their customers.
Report Spam To The Information Commissioner’s Office
Reporting nuisance spam texts to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is another step to stop companies harassing people. Companies and individuals can be fined up to the sum of half a million pound if they deem the breaches very serious and goes against the rules set by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which is the department that deals with spam texts in the UK.
Unfortunately, the ICO can’t always investigate some spam messages people get because they may have been sent out by overseas companies using foreign mobile networks and this results in difficulty locating these companies and hard to punish them if the company can’t be found.
Even if a company can’t be located straight away whether the text is from the UK or abroad the ICO urge these spam texts to be reported so that any necessary action can be taken if they can find the culprits.
You can find more details about how to report spams text’s on the ICO’s website about how to make a complaint and what processes they have in place to investigate the matter.
Help Yourself To Prevent Spam Texts
Your mobile number is one of the biggest marketing tools used by companies to promote their products and services as millions own a mobile phone across the UK. Try to do the following to help you prevent spam messages -Try not to sign up to websites where it is asking for your mobile number
Try not to sign up to websites where it is asking for your mobile number
We know this is quite difficult nowadays so try to read the terms and conditions about what they intend to do with your number if it is not for contact reasons
Look out for tick boxes when filling out forms
On many submission forms, there is a tick box near the end which may say something along the lines of “do you give us permission to pass your details on to third party companies” you will have to be very careful with this because on some forms it will say tick this box if you do not want your number passed on for marketing and on other forms it will say leave it un-ticked for no marketing, so be sure to tick or un-tick correctly.
Don’t post your number on the internet where it can be picked up
Posting your number online like on social media sites, forums and any other open networks put your mobile number at risk. Companies or individuals will take the numbers off these sites and start sending you spam texts within minutes so we strongly recommend you being selective where or who you give your number too.
Avoid replying to spam text messages
Many spam texts you will receive from marketing companies may give you the option to reply “STOP” to stop future texts from that company but this is a bad idea. By replying back this lets companies and individuals know that the number is active and being used by someone meaning that they will continue to send spam texts to you this is a trick used by most spam companies.There are legitimate companies that will stop after you reply so you need to be aware and selective which texts you respond to and which to ignore.